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Tuesday / May 21.
HomemifashionRx-able Sunglasses: Vision Comfort and Styling

Rx-able Sunglasses: Vision Comfort and Styling

Rapid advances in technology and manufacturing capabilities mean your customers can now choose from a vast array of Rx-able sunglasses that combine absolute protection with optimum vision, total comfort and sensational styling.

You’ll be familiar with “Slip, slop, slap” – Australia’s most successful health campaign launched in the 1980s. You probably won’t recall Mrs. Marsh who taught every child during the 70s and 80s about the benefits of cleaning their teeth. It’s doubtful that you’ve ever seen a campaign about the need to protect your eyes.

Despite mountains of research that links extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays with eye damage, there has never been a mass campaign on eye health that has wielded the equivalent influence of Mrs. Marsh or the Slip Slop Slap seagull. So it’s up to the eye care professions to spread the word: ‘sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory… they are essential to eye health’.

In Australia and New Zealand, where the weather favours an outdoor lifestyle, sunglasses should be part of every person’s everyday wardrobe from a very early age.

Finding a high fashion or high performance pair of specs has never been an issue for those with 20/20 vision. But spare a thought for those who can’t get about without prescription lenses. Until recent years the choices have been limited by lens manufacturers’ ability to design lenses that wrap to the face for maximum protection, without distorting vision.

These days, supply is not a pro

blem. Whether your customer needs prescription sunnies for a round of golf, a bike ride, to drive a car or enjoy a dose of window-shopping, there is an extensive and exciting range of Rx-able sunglass programs, lenses and frames to choose from.

But do they know it? Customers now reaching middle age and experiencing presbyopia have grown up without the need for prescription sunnies, so it’s quite likely that they have no idea of the options available to suit their lifestyle… over to you!

A Spectrum of UV Dangers

Ultra Violet is classified according to wavelengths from the sun to the earth
1. While UVC are the highest energy rays, they do not usually reach the earth’s surface as they are absorbed by the ozone layer above the earth.
2. UVB rays are slightly longer than UVC rays and of lesser intensity. They are at their strongest during the summer months when the earth orbit is closest to the sun.
3. UVA is the same strength year round and is now known to cause more damage to the body than UVB. UVA rays are also known to pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina. The rays are believed to penetrate light items such as clothing, windshields, office windows and hats.
4. HEV is high-energy visible radiation, or blue light. HEV rays have longer wavelengths (400-500 nm) and lower energy than UV rays.

Ray damage

Extended exposure to the sun’s UVA, UVB and UVC rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae and pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause temporary vision loss.
According to a European study published in the October 2008 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, people with low blood plasma levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants appear to be at risk of retinal damage from HEV radiation. This appears to be because HEV rays can penetrate deeply into the eye and cause retinal damage.

The Schepens Eye Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, has reported that “the blue rays of the spectrum seem to accelerate AMD more than other rays of the spectrum.” Very bright light from sunlight or its reflection in the ocean or desert can worsen macular degeneration. The Institute recommends that sunglasses be worn to protect against both blue/violet and UV light.


Sports Wraps

An abundance of light-weight, super comfortable wraps provide the ultimate protection from sun, wind, and debris for bike riders and lovers of extreme action sports. Whether your customer is understated or extroverted, there are frames to suit in solid colours that range from black to green and fluoro yellow.

Adidas Eyewear’s Silmo d’Or and Red Dot award winner, Evil Eye Halfrim Pro, with its performance adapter a530, offers an elegant solution for those who want sunglasses with an extreme base curve, made to their prescription. At the more subtle end of the sports spectrum, Maui Jim’s stylish sports shield, Honolulu, features a refined, yet generous rectangular shaped lens that protects the eyes from the elements regardless of the wearer’s head size or shape.